For the first time, an in depth look at Birmingham City's formative years, 1875 to 1888, when the club was known as Small Heath Alliance. Using newly researched material, the book transports us back to the lives of the founding players in mid-Victorian Small Heath, just as the game of football was about to take hold. It explores the club's little known first decade when football was purely amateur, and goes on to examine the impact of early professionalism on the club. Full of fascinating stories, including the club's first trophy in 1883, their epic FA Cup run of 1886, and how rivalry with Aston Villa was ignited. The book also looks at the controversial move to "limited company" status in 1888, the first club to do it. Results and dates of competitive matches are also listed.